In Brief – N.36 – May 22, 2016

Austria’s chancellor Werner Faymann resigned after nearly 8 years in office, throwing his country into deeper political uncertainty amid a rightward shift in Austrian politics.

3 Republican congressmen from Illinois have urged the CEO of Chicago-based Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg, to avoid doing business with Iran and to not sell aircraft to upgrade its fleet.

“I will be strict. I will be a dictator, no doubt it. But only against forces of evil – criminality, drugs and corruption in government,” said President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of The Philippines.

French train and rolling stock maker Alstom SA reported a large net profit of EUR 3 billion for its FY 2016 after booking capital gains on assets it sold to General Electric (GE), lifting it from a year-earlier loss of EUR 719 million.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the Obama administration was mounting a challenge to China at the WTO as it is continuing to impose high taxes on US chicken exports.

ISIS has continued losing control over territory across Iraq and Syria, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said, including almost half of what it had once held in Iraq. “The number in Syria is anywhere between 16 to 20%,” Cook added.

The United States and other world powers said they are ready to supply Libya’s internationally recognized government with weapons to counter terrorist groups gaining footholds in its lawless regions, possibly ending arms embargo.

Norway’s state pension fund, which is the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world, will join other investors in suing Volkswagen for failing to provide accurate, timely information to investors about its cheating on emissions tests.

The IMF would be demanding that Europe free Greece from all payments on its bailout loans until 2040, in the opening bid of a struggle that pits IMF math against German muscle.

US National Academy of Sciences has reaffirmed its judgment that GMOs are safe to eat, but don’t always deliver on promises.

US industrial production in April 2016, rising 0.7% from March 2016, posted the biggest increase since November 2014 as utility output surged, the Fed said.

In June 2012, LinkedIn confirmed a major breach into its computers concerning 6.5 to 8 million accounts. New data suggested that 167 million accounts were actually compromised. LinkedIn asked its users to reset their passwords.

A statement by the Fed increased caution on the financial markets after it let the door open for an earlier than expected rate hike, as soon as this June 2016.

Japan, whose economic recovery has been disappointing in Q1 2016, committed to arguing in favor or more budgetary flexibility on the occasion of G7 Finance in Sendai.

An ambush in the region of Kidal, in north-west Mali, killed 5 Chadian blue helmets who belonged to the MINUSMA. Jihadist group Ansar Dine claimed responsibility for the attack.